Friday, June 29, 2007

Caregiving: a family dinner

Outings in the care facility era swing both ways, the person in need of 24/7 care and the family are enriched. 


Last night our daughter asked if I was going to bring Patti home for the evening and offered to cook dinner.


Picking Patti up I always try to engage her in conversation to evaluate how her memory and cognitive symptoms are doing on any given day. Patti was surprisingly chatty and telling me all about her parents recent trip to Atlantic City. … Only problem with her answer is that they had just returned from a week’s cruise to Bermuda.


We stopped to pick up some items for the recipe. With her memory and cognitive symptoms du jour, I suspected the grocery store could be interesting. I parked Patti near the organic vegetables while I searched and could still keep her in sight. Visually impaired she enjoys touching and picking up produce. The organic section is safest as rarely would any one be near there.


Patti was contentedly examining and “yucking” weird green things when I heard a loud yelp and the onset of a stream of cursing that would have make a prison yard proud. It was difficult to not laugh as Patti’s face and arms are all wet and she is soooo angry at the vegetables. Apparently the automatic mist came on while Patti was reaching across; startling and misting her along with the weird green things. No way was Patti going to accept my explanation. It was simpler to separate the combatants.


Back at home, keeping pace with Patti’s short term memory loss while serving cheese and crackers can get challenging if she is finished and sees you eating something and fixes you with her confused and indignant look. 


Megan prepared a delicious summer meal of boneless chicken breasts smothered in mushrooms and Swiss cheese accompanied by fresh strawberry smoothies. Watching her take the additional time to patiently cut Patti’s serving into mouth size bites before serving the meal was the difference between dinner and relaxing to the ripples of family caring flow through the evening.


Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer


  1. LOL  That scene in the grocery store was priceless and Megan cooking for you guys was really precious.  I've wondered how the cognitive effects of MS manifest in Patti and your stories make it simple to understand.  Thanks to the three of you for sharing the love and reality of care-giving.


  2. I love to hear about Patti's many adventures!!  This one had me laughing so hard I could hardly read! Megan is a blessing to you, I'm sure!  Take care, friend!!

  3.  I think being in a situation like encourages empathy in children, not necessarily a bad thing now a days.  Love the whole family routine you have set.


  4. your daughter is a gem:) enjoy your weekend


  5. The misting thing happened to me too ... it does startle. I laughed when you described the event here (apologies to Patti!). You have passed on the Caregiving gene to your daughter! She will make a fine mother herself one day. Well done, pop! bea

  6. (((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU)))))))))))))))))))You have an amazing daughter,I aggree with the other comment,She will make a great Mom one day.I just love reading your journal.Have a nice weekend/Happy 4th of July.

  7. sounds like a great meal!!!!!!!!

  8. Megan sounds like a sweetie!  I have never been misted but I agree with Patti, it had to be those wierd green things!


Blog Archive